SWINDON Wildcats have revealed former club captain Jan Kostal will temporarily come out of retirement as cover for Tyler Vankleef as the Canadian recovers from a blood clot on the back of his leg.

Unveiled as the final member of the Cats’ roster at their pre-season media day on Sunday, Kostal had retired at the end of last season and was back home in the Czech Republic before receiving a call from Swindon player-coach Aaron Nell.

It is currently unknown how long Vankleef will be out of action for, but Nell revealed Kostal, who owns a house in Swindon, was happy to return to the Link Centre side for as long as was required.

The Cats’ player-coach said Vankleef will find out the extent of his ailment on Wednesday and wished him a speedy recovery before expressing his gratitude to the returning Kostal.

Nell said: “Tyler has got a blood clot on the back of his leg. He’s got an appointment to find out more about what’s going on, so we’ve brought in Jan as a replacement.

“Jan knows all the guys, he knows what the team is about, and he lives in Swindon, so that helps.

“But I really wanted to keep most of our players around, especially our British players.

“All of our imports retired last season, but Jan has agreed to come out of retirement to help us out, and we’re really grateful to him for that.”

Kostal will dovetail with returning fans’ favourite Tomasz Malasinski as import players for the time being, and Nell stressed the importance of having two game-changing skaters on the ice when taking to the new National League format.

The Cats are expected to play over 60 games this season and, as usual, consistency was the key word coming from Nell’s lips prior to their pre-season starting against Bracknell Bees next Saturday.

He said: “To bring the import players that we’ve brought in is key. Tomasz and Tyler, when he comes back, will be key.

“Tomasz is a fantastic player and just him signing gave the whole team a boost. The amount of messages I got from the team saying what a great signing he is, was incredible.

“He’s a great player to have on our roster and I’m really looking forward to seeing him on the ice again.

“And Tyler was really difficult to play against last year. Among other things, that was what caught my eye there.”